92-Year-Old Widower Learns to Sing Again
Thomas Timson was one of the first residents to arrive at the luxury Abbotswood Court care home when the purpose-built facility opened in Romsey in 2015. He made the decision to move following the passing of his beloved wife after 65 years of marriage. Having shared many cherished years together, her absence had a huge impact on Tom’s life and his love for singing became a neglected pastime. Even though his son lives nearby, living alone without someone to share his music with, was too big an adjustment.
The pair married in 1953 and were both proud to share their anniversary year with the Queen’s Coronation. A devoted husband, Tom nursed and tended to his wife for over two years before her passing. During this time Tom lost many opportunities to engage in his favourite passion, singing. A Hampshire man through and through, Tom was born in Compton, a small town just south of Winchester. He worked on the local railways as a Signalman for over 40 years.
Since arriving at Abbotswood Court, Tom has had the opportunity to connect with the care home’s community and once again indulge in his love of music. Most weeks he can be heard performing in the communal areas, with other residents and to the compassionate team of carers.
Finding a willing audience, Abbotswood Court encourages residents to retain and rediscover their hobbies. They understand that musical activity can improve residents’ wellbeing, happiness and quality of life, including those with various stages of dementia and other health issues. In turn, it also helps family members to feel more positive, knowing that their loved ones are maintaining their interests. At 92 years old, Tom finds singing incredibly therapeutic. Tom’s personality and love for music has made him one of the standout individuals residing in the home. He has now entered the care home industry’s version of the X-Factor, ‘Care Home Idol’.
Thomas Timson, said:
“In my early days at Abbotswood Court there was more staff than residents, however as the rooms have filled I’ve found that I never feel lonely. There are now so many wonderful people living here, and I always have someone to talk to. The food is good, there is regular entertainment and I cannot fault the attentive, friendly carers. It’s the perfect place for my son, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren to come visit me.’’
“I’ve always enjoyed singing and it’s great to be a part of a community where I can practice, sing with others and joining with regular music events. I used to do all these things before my wife was taken ill and she would be so happy to know that I have rediscovered my love for singing at Abbotswood.’’
Tom’s room is located on the ground floor right next to one of the three airy communal spaces situated within Abbotswood Court. Here all residents can participate in group activities or walk out to the glass-fronted garden room, which opens on to an outdoor patio and well-kept garden. Outside and using a stick to get around, Tom alongside other green-fingered residents, can also pursue their passion for horticulture.
Gemma Ridout-Bowden, General Manager of Abbotswood, said:
“We are all so pleased to see Tom find such fulfilment from being able to sing once again and we love to listen! We’ve found that singing helps to create a positive environment within our home, not just for our residents but also for our staff. We continue to support activity regular music sessions, events and sing-alongs. In addition, we often welcome friends and family to come along to share in these experiences.”